What made you want to be a surgeon?
As a medical student, I had the opportunity to participate in all facets of medicine, and very early on, it seemed to me that surgeons could see a medical problem and then correct it with surgery. This approach to healing was very attractive to me, so when the time came to begin my training as a resident after medical school, I chose General Surgery. While on my General Surgery rotation, I found that I was very comfortable in the operating room and enjoyed interacting with patients in the surgery clinic. For me, surgery is more than what I enjoy doing—it’s what I am.
Why did you choose Plastics?
During my General Surgery training, I had the chance to rotate through different surgical specialties. On my Plastic Surgery rotation I was impressed by the intricate surgeries the surgeons were performing and how much the procedures seemed to change patients’ lives. Also, the procedures were so diverse, ranging from micro vascular surgery to surgery of the hand, craniofacial surgery, burn surgery in reconstructive surgery, and finally, cosmetic surgery. I was attracted to the broad spectrum of ways to help patients—to really change their lives—so I applied to the Plastic Surgery program and fortunately was accepted.
What is your favorite surgery to perform?
My favorite surgery is any Plastic or Reconstructive Surgery that I am performing at the time. Ninety percent of the surgery that I do now is cosmetic surgery of the face and body. I do not routinely take trauma calls, but recently I had the opportunity to repair the lip of a friend’s child. Seeing this child first with her lip torn half off and then seeing her as good as new after the repair was so very rewarding. Seeing the relief in her parents’ eyes was priceless. It isn’t so much about the surgery as it is about the lives that are changed.
What is your biggest achievement thus far?
Professionally, happy patients are my biggest achievement. Whether they are recovering from reconstruction after trauma or from a facelift, if they have achieved a better life, then I have achieved. Personally, my children are my biggest achievement. I don’t know of a greater joy than raising your children with the help of an excellent mother to be good, happy, healthy and productive members of society.
Check back for the continuation of Dr. Aycock’s interview in next week’s blog.